New Delhi, July 24 : Notwithstanding the recent incidents of flight diversions due to technical snags and other scares in the air, former Aviation Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, who is also a trained pilot, said that flying remains the safest mode of travel despite a few cases of technical glitches.
“Air travel is still the safest mode of transportation. The IATA World Air Trasport Statistics revealed in 2021 that out of 9.9 lakh flights operated across the world, there was only one accident. Passengers must realise that they are travelling in the safest mode of transportation,” said Rudy, who was the Civil Aviation Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government between 2003 and 2004.
He said the main factor responsible for passenger safety is the training of the staff, including the engineers, pilots and other ground support workers, which is of paramount importance.
“Other important factors are maintenance, which lies with the ground support staff, the health of the airlines and the overall infrastructure, which in our case is controlled by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” he said.
Talking about the recent incident of a New Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight returning to Patna after being hit by a bird, Rudy said the Patna the airport is situated in the middle of the city, so there are always chances of bird ingestion, which happened recently with the flight which landed in Karachi.
Rudy also said that despite growth, the aviation industry is in distress in India.
“At the policy level, there are macro issues which the government has to address,” he said.
Rudy also said that a few airlines may shut shop due to cashflow problems, as the industry is heavily dependent on cash which has a direct impact on safety.
Repeated MELs and snags and swapping spares compromises safety, he added.